Free beer in Asheville (1 Viewer)


Dec 29, 2015
Durant, United States
I was spared the rain while I slept in Waynesville but by the time I finished my coffee and packed the bike, it began. I rode on into a drizzle. It didn't last long. Just all the way through town and past Lake Junaluska. I pulled my hat down low and kept pedaling.
My route to Asheville passed through a couple small towns and followed a river. This was also the route taken by Continental troops in 1776 who were up there then to harass the Cherokee nation and discourage them from allying with the British.
The very west edge of Asheville was gritty. There were several pupuserias which told me there was an El Salvadoran community there and as I got closer in, lots of traffic. I rode by an accident and also saw a couple of homeless men, one younger and the other old with a club foot.
I still hadn't heard from my friend who had offered me a place to stay and had no idea which part of the city he lived in. It was very cold and the forecast was for more rain. I turned towards downtown and before I dropped off of the ridge, came upon a festival where people were wearing cloaks and carrying dulled swords. It was a medieval fest and I stopped there.
I found wifi right away and tried to contact my friend again with no luck. We only have one mutual friend and she was in Argentina but I contacted her and she went to work on it. She didn't know his address but she knew which neighborhood he lived in and I was close so I waited at the medieval fest to hear from him.
The fest had palm readers, poets, artists, and a boffer sword arena among other attractions. People were drinking mead and meat laden bloody marys. I donned my cloak and mingled. Among the crowd I found several old friends one of whom was a fellow volunteer from the hurricane recovery efforts in Houston. I was able to find back up shelter in case I didn't hear from my host so relaxed into the mood of the middle ages.
My friend is an audiophile and when I finally got to his house, we listened to albums. I liked one of his roommates, a young man who'd been raised by Deadheads and we talked late into the night. I rested out of the weather all of the next day.
On the day after that, I went to a place called Twelve Baskets which collects leftover foods from restaurants and buffets then serves it to anyone in need. There was a large selection of foods, mostly Indian. Guests were seated and volunteers took their orders, the selections made from a large white board which was constantly updated as entrees ran out and as more donations came in.
The guests were of all types. There was an old black man singing off key but everyone appreciated him until he flipped out and started yelling profanities at somebody at which time he was asked to leave. There was a young ponytailed man who played guitar in the courtyard and when he played Iron Shirt, I danced.
One of the volunteers was offering reiki healing for the guests and I watched her perfectly step aside from herself and allow the universal love energy to heal those she was helping. The efficacy of this was visible to me and I knew right away to direct some of this abundant healing energy to those I've encountered who are suffering. I asked her later to channel that intent into my hands also as I do some of this same work.
As I was relaxing in the courtyard, a man came out, looked at me, and said, "Dale, that is you!" I'd recognized him by then. It was my old friend Winslow. He'd been in town most of a week squatting in an abandoned factory. I decided to go with him and we went together to my friend's house to get my bike.
Winslow and I are both writing books and we agreed to review each other's work. He helped me get my file from my flash drive into a usable format for my tablet. Then we left towards the squat stopping at a grocery store to get fixins for supper. We had a beer along the way too. We were both broke but he had just enough for the cheapest six pack, Hamms beer, from the land of sky blue waters.
I rode ahead of him down the big hill before the French Broad River and at the bottom was the New Belgium brewery. I went in, explained about my journey and that I'd been riding with a New Belgium plate on my bike, and wondered if they would get me and my friend a beer for the advertising. The manager actually offered the beer before I could ask.
I went back and got Winslow and we went in for beer. They were very generous. I witnessed to all the servers before we left and we became friends. As they were closing, they put out several bottles of red IPA for customers to take as they left. We got a few of those and as we got ready to go, the manager followed us outside with a mixed six pack and gave us that also.
The squat was just across the river, a large four story factory. There was an unlocked steel door on the second level which could be locked from the inside. We heard someone test the door later but by then we were inside in an inner room drinking beer and cooking tacos.
I slept fitfully. The factory building had many voices, some of which sounded like footsteps. There were creaks, rustles, and the moan of wind spiriting its way through the floors above. In the night I dreamt that we were discovered, my friend arrested, and me found too. They cuffed me but somehow I escaped and killed the authority. This of course woke me as much as the sounds of the building had.
I left early, the building, though safe for a restless night's sleep, had left me uneasy and I was eager to be rid of it. I rode through the center of the city to the French Broad Co-op, a place I always go when I'm in Asheville, and had coffee there.
I rode on slowly. I really wasn't feeling well and only found the energy to continue by thinking of the comfort I'd find with the forecast warmer days and a bed in the woods next to a fire. I was aiming for the Pisgah National Forest knowing that I'd find a safe place to camp there.
I made my way to Swannanoa Gap where Stoneman's Raiders were repelled by a five hundred person strong Confederate force on April 20, 1865. It was downhill from there to a paved trail which followed abandoned highway US 70 down the Blue Ridge.
I met Mike O'Toole at the overlook on the trail. He was hiking and camping, reading Anna, not the Ringing Cedars book but one of her others. I haven't read the books but I'm familiar with them and even more familiar with the consciousness of which she writes. I shared some of my experiences with him and he just glowed over it. It was as if his book had come to life before him and that with the stunning backdrop of the overlook before us.
I rode on, downhill and rapidly, to a side trail which led me to a solitude filled site next to a rushing stream. I made camp, built a fire, and found the rest that I'd been anticipating.
Click here to buy one of our amazing custom bandanas!


Apr 2, 2018
Asheville, NC
Wow what an amazing story! I love midevil festivals i worked at one every year back when i was a housie. Learned a lot about reading tarot. Sounds like an amazing time!

Users who are viewing this thread

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $15.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $15.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully this will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $15.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $15.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.